Self-Talk In Golf: The Nature Of The Game Of Golf

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Due to the nature of the game of golf, self-talk is a major practical psychological component that is beneficial for golfers to use. The average round of golf takes about four hours, but only about two minutes is actually spent swinging the golf club. Thus, there is a substantial amount of time that can be implemented for “inner time”. During a round of golf, golfers give themselves hundreds if not thousands of suggestions using self-talk (King, 2002). This is when a golfer may dig into his or her conscious and subconscious thoughts. In other words it is beneficial for golfers to use self-talk. Instances throughout the golf game in which self-talk may be useful include when a player is walking from hole to hole, approaching the ball, viewing the angle, and post shots. Self-talk in these cases allow the player to think about what he or she may implement or improve on in his or her next shot. In turn, the golfer’s game should improve if positive self-talk techniques are applied to the golf game. Plenty of golfers use self-talk as a motivating force, including Tiger Woods. For example, he once said to himself, “You are the worst golfer in the world!” It is clear that he is quite the contrary, however, he is using this self-talk to motivate himself to reach a higher level of achievement and concentration and perform better than his previous shots. By directing a positive attitude on performance, the golfer’s confidence in the golf swing should increase. The ideal self-talk is cordial, relaxed, and positive. It should be similar to speaking with a young child (Cook, 2012). Some other important concepts to remember include the dominant response and expectancy theory (King, 2002). The dominant response states that the mind is capable of... ... middle of paper ... ...er. Golfers should only compete with themselves and try to improve their own score or compete against the course. Lastly, eliminating thoughts that judge of condemn golfers is useful to changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk. Praise is the best way to program your unconscious mind. Self-talk requires golfers to start listening to and addressing the voices inside their heads. Repetition of positive self-talk messages is beneficial because this wires them into the brain. Lastly, it is important to program self-talk towards what you want rather than what you do not want. For example, by telling yourself not to miss another shot your subconscious mind will only reinforce the missed shot. Instead, you should think about the desired behavior or performance. Switching from tentative language to certainty and confidence eliminates the potential room for failure.

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